By Simone Sousa | Translation by Alia
It was not for nothing that Jericoacoara, or simply “Jeri” – to friends, was elected by The Washington Post as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Beauty, simplicity, romance, adventure and much sympathy are all together in one single place. Located on the west coast of Ceará, Jericoacoara seems a friendly fishing village visited by tourists from all over the world since the 70’s.
Starting with the hospitality of the locals who shows affection and good reception, Jeri beach is fortunate to have strong winds, which makes it wanted by lovers of water sports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. According to the local kitesurfers Jeri is one of the most windy beaches in the world. Besides the strong winds, Jeri has other remarkable features that make it different from any other beach.
The access is not easy. To get there needed takes the tourists five hours by car from Fortaleza, via highway CE-085, called rodovia Estruturante. But for those who prefer to go by bus, the company Viação Redenção makes the route Fortaleza – Jijoca daily. The small town of Jijoca is 23 km away from beach Jeri. The distance between them takes about one hour and the “jardineiras” (vehicle adapted to carry tourists) do the job. Long time is taken due to the road through the dunes and the beach.
But all this makes the trip different from the others. Adventure and greater contact with nature! Once there, visitors can feel the white sand in their feet: the town has no sidewalks or asphalt and the use of flip-flops is almost a must! Contact with nature does not stop there, Jeri is a kind of oasis by the sea. The busiest beach of the village and ideal for staying is Praia da Malhada. The ponds are attractions of the small town, as Lagoa da Pinguela, where you can spend the day relaxing on clear waters or take the time to register with beautiful photographs of the place.
The famous “Pedra Furada”
The greatest attraction of Jeri, no doubt, is the famous Pedra Furada. The rock has become an icon. It takes 3 km walk along the beach to get to the location of the rock. For those who prefer to have a more privileged view, you can also walk to Pedra Furada over a hill known as Serrote and still see the beach view from the top. Many tourists make the same journey on horseback riding, which makes the ride even nicer. The road is quiet and easy to access, but it is recommended to take a bottle of water and use sun lotion because the sun does not mess around!
Mangue Seco and Tatajuba
For those who like almost untouchable places the tip is get to know Mangue Seco. Five kilometers away from Jeri, you can do a rowing ferry ride and see the sea horses plunged into a strait leading to the swamp. To complete the tour, you can enjoy and get to know Guriú – a small fishing village that is at the western limit of EPA (Environmental Protection Area) of Jericoacoara.
Another natural attraction is the small village of Tatajuba, which was completely rebuilt by its residents after the dunes covered the entire town, a few years ago. Here the wind is the great artist of this paradise, where the nature contemplation is the greatest pleasure! The walk to nearby beaches can be done by buggy. In Jeri, there is the Association of buggy drivers, where visitors can hire the transport and walk to the natural ponds, Mangue Seco and Tatajuba.
The Village and Other Attractions
Jeri still keeps some characteristics that make it primitive and untouched. Electricity, for example, arrived on the place a few years ago, and the streets have no street lighting or electric light poles, only the moonlight illuminates the streets and alleys of the fishing village. The cool thing is walking through the village under the moonlight, feeling an almost untouched paradise.
Another great attraction is the beautiful sunset watched from the dunes. From there, you contemplate the sun going into the ocean, a true gift of nature! People say that the setting sun dune is the “thermometer” of Jericoacoara. According to locals when the dune is full of tourists and visitors who enjoy the sunset, the evening will be happy and excited. All this can be enjoyed to the sound of drums and berimbau (typical musical instrument) and capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian dance form that incorporates self-defense maneuvers), where local groups perform right there on the beach, and call the attention of visitors every evening.
At night, the tourists can enjoy the busy bars and restaurants in the village, where the regional cuisine based on fish and shrimp is the main dish. Forró is always requested. For those who prefer quieter places, there are some bars and restaurants offering live Brazilian music style or jam sessions, leaving the most romantic moment for couples in love. Despite its size, Jeri also offers options of rock, reggae and electronic music!
The village has three main streets all crossed by narrow streets with inns, handcraft shops, bars and restaurants. You cannot visit Jeri and miss taking a souvenir of the place. Pieces of straw and crochet are common in various handcraft shops. There are lodgings for all kinds of tastes. The simplest and most rustic, like hostels, even the most sophisticated and comfortable with good infrastructure. Rates start from R$100 (couple). But there are many other types of accommodation such as small houses or cottages that local families rent for those who want to spend some time in Jeri.
Brazil is very large, with several wonderful places, but certainly, Jericoacoara has positioned itself as one of the “top” places you cannot miss! If you seek an adventurous trip or if you prefer something more romantic or with “relaxation” Jeri has what you are looking for! Besides the beautiful scenery, the place gathers legends and stories that fascinate visitors. The best time to visit Jericoacoara is from June to December because the rainy season starts in January and runs through June, after July the sun shines throughout the year.